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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Rockford School Ranks No. 1 In State PARCC Test Scores

Rockford Public Schools

A Rockford school has the highest composite score in Illinois on this year’s state standardized tests.

Rockford school officials say students at Thurgood Marshall School had the highest composite score of all Illinois public schools compared with other fifth- through eighth-graders in the state.

The majority of Marshall students, who are all part of the district’s gifted program, met or exceeded expectations on the state’s PARCC test, according to Illinois Report Card data.

Megan Fleming is assistant principal at Thurgood Marshall School. She says it’s good for the school to finally be first after hovering in the top 10 for a while.

“We’re just really, really excited, not only for our families and our staff but also for the city of Rockford,” Fleming said.

Fleming says she hopes the distinction will help the district compete with nearby private schools.

“We hear a lot of negativity in the news about the city of Rockford and a lot about the school district, and I just think it’s such a wonderful thing to celebrate,” Fleming said.

Heather Psaltis, director of special programs at Rockford Public Schools, says the distinction was first reported through a third-party web site that wasn’t affiliated with the district. The district had its own internal assessment team verify the claim using Illinois Report Card data.

There are more than 28,000 students in Rockford public schools, according to Illinois Report Card data. Students at Marshall make up about two percent of that overall population.